Longtime museum lover, Christine Lussier, joined the David Owsley Museum of Art staff this past August. Before being hired on as Office Administrator/Guard Supervisor, Christine served the museum as a docent since August of 2012. This past week, I sat down with Christine to learn more about the welcoming woman behind the front desk.
Ashley Wehmiller: How did you become familiar with the David Owsley Museum of Art?
Christine Lussier: I had been to the museum once over 30 years ago for a quick visit so I knew it existed, but that was about it. In August of 2012, I moved to Muncie with my partner who was returning to school. He forwarded an email message from the museum about an informational meeting for people interested in being docents. I had wanted to be a museum docent for a long time, but my day jobs had always limited my availability. At that point, I was teaching online so I was able to attend and sign up for the training. It has been one of the highlights of living in Muncie.
AW: What is your role at the museum and what does it entail?
CL: In August of this year, I moved from volunteer docent to paid Administrator. We have a small staff so my duties include a wide range of activities including training and supervising the guard/visitor assistant staff, publishing the newsletter, maintaining a presence on social media with the help of the interns and fellows, organizing events, getting the bills paid, and lots of other things to help keep the museum running smoothly. I am still a docent and give tours when I can.
AW: What are your past experiences with art and/or museums?
CL: When I was middle-school age, I used to walk to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art which at that time was in a huge, gorgeous old house a block away from home. After looking at the art, I would often sit on the window seat near the grand (to me) stairway to read or just sit and think. It was a magical place for me.
As I got older, I visited art museums wherever I was living or when I traveled and always liked spending time in them. Four years ago, I decided to work on an art degree at IPFW and when the opportunity arrived to apply for an internship at the FWMoA (now in a much bigger building!) in my second year, I jumped at it and got accepted. I spent a semester working in the various departments and loved it so much that I continued to volunteer in the museum library until I moved to Muncie last year.
AW: Do you have a favorite gallery or work of art in the museum?
CL: Wow, that’s a tough one. There are so many works I am drawn to.
AW: Do you have a favorite memory of a particular experience at the museum?
CL: I love doing the research and preparation for a tour and then seeing the lights go on in a visitor’s eyes when they make a connection with the work of art we are viewing.
Stay tuned to see which DOMA staff member is spotlighted next.